January 2010 Archives



Life runs on cycles, doesn't it? With the seasonal flow, my energy waxes and wanes, my interest in this or that intensifies and declines. In addition to more predictable cycles, there are also just periods of life that are more or less taxing, and right now I am officially hitting a plate-juggling, headless-chicken peak of frenzied activity.


With the new year, Partnership Celebration preparations have really kicked into high gear. I won't bore you with the details - I'm willing to bet that everyone reading this has either planned a wedding/graduation/ordination/50th-anniversary-party, or looked on as someone else planned one, and this involves all of the same kind of nit-picky details to settle: catering, clothes, invitations, decorations, travel arrangements, and so on, not to mention the important part of planning the actual ritual. It's all exciting to us, if not to other people: a lot of it fun, a few things annoying, but the sheer bulk of it a little crazy. Add to that, at my day job we're in the midst of the month-long process of going public with our newest set of data, which means more work than usual and getting myself up-to-date on procedures I've never gone through before. In my knitting life, deadlines for some reason have not halted in their tracks just because of all the other stuff on my plate, so I'm doing my best to keep on top of them as well.


All of which is to say: I've been feeling really guilty about not joining Ravelry's Help for Haiti program. I think this is such a cool idea, and it's awesome that Casey has made it so easy for one to search for included patterns that are already in one's queue. I feel like a self-involved flake for not including my patterns, but to be completely honest the idea of taking responsibility for administering one more thing at the moment makes me want to cry. I have this awful fear that I would pledge to donate half my January pattern proceeds, and then the actual donating would somehow fall through the cracks between everything else I'm trying to do: an outcome that would be truly unforgivable. So, it sucks, but this just isn't something I can keep track of right now. But I strongly encourage everyone to check out all the fabulous patterns from designers who ARE participating, and purchase those patterns you've been meaning to get anyway, while they benefit this good cause.


In other news, yesterday and today are officially "Figure Out the Alterations for my Partnership Celebration Dress or Die Trying" Weekend (pictures above). The dress was gapping at the back, and although the pattern specified "no provision for above-waist adjustment," I figured that where there's a will, there's a way. I spent about five hours yesterday puzzling over the pattern pieces with pencil, ruler, and tape in hand, trying to work out how to take three inches out of the middle back of this strangely-constructed pattern (no side seams; interlocking bias-cut triangles and rectangles). In the end I think I've figured out something that will work (fingers crossed), but oh man, was it ever difficult. It was one of those experiences you feel your way through with a combination of math, trial-and-error, and blind intuition. Right now my fitting shell looks like the photo above, but hopefully this afternoon I can re-cut the five pieces involved and get a start on putting it back together. And now, back to the alteration station...


Empire of Pants


In order to clear my sewing space and make way for the Partnership Celebration dress, I needed to finish up a far more mundane and practical sewing project: PANTS!


These are a slightly modified, more bare-bones version of the summertime pants I posted about back in June. I actually started them in July, in the midst of my pants-sewing fervor, but since they're made of an extremely heavy corduroy and we were having temperatures above the 110-degree mark at the time, something about the project just didn't seem that exciting.


Come the chilly winds of November, though, and another big project on which to start work, a cozy pair of cords seemed like just the thing. As you can see above, I left off the cute little buttoning tabs from the other pair; the corduroy was just so heavy that I felt like they would end up overly bulky. Plus, I have to admit, there was an element of "Brr it's cold - I need these pants TODAY" that motivated me to eschew unnecessary details.


Another change I made was to draft my own jeans-style patch pockets in place of the welt pockets called for in the pattern. The welt pockets are super-cute, but for a casual pair of pants I felt like the patch-pockets are sturdier and more practical, better for hooking one's thumbs into, holding one's wallet after a Saturday brunch, or sitting cross-legged while playing a boardgame.


This is my third time through with this pattern, and every time the product has markedly improved. These are the best yet, I think: we forgot to photograph it clearly, but all the different pieces of the fly/yoke construction fit together more closely, looking and feeling better both from the right side and the wrong side. I've worn these pants almost constantly since I finished them a month and half ago; they're super-comfy and I love the fit. I lined the pockets and yoke with this paisley print I had lying around, which goes with the whole 70s feel:


Yay, pants! Expect to see yet another avatar of this pattern sometime in the spring; I have a light-weight, baby-blue corduroy that's begging to become Springtime Pants. In the meantime, my fitting shell for the Partnership Celebration dress is almost done (finally), and I'm super-excited to cut into my fancy silk! A post on that shortly, but for now...pants.




You know when you start a project and you think to yourself "Let's just keep this simple; I want my process to go smoothly," and you try to do exactly that but then the project spins wildly out of control and starts consuming every waking moment of your time and you just want it OUT OF YOUR LIFE ALREADY?

Well, that just happened to me. But praise be, said project is now mailed, emailed, and receipt-confirmed at its destination, and I don't have to think any more about it until the tech editor starts banging down my door and demanding my first-born daughter. And I'm not going to think about that until it happens. For now, I'm free - FREE! - to do things like write blog posts and work on my dress for the Partnership Celebration, which is approaching alarmingly quickly.

I'll have some sewing posts in the next few days, but for now, this entry is also to let you know that the two patterns I worked on for Erin at Eat.Sleep.Knit are now available for purchase through her site:

The Vine Bolero;


and the Plumeria Shawl.


Happy knitting, and hip, hip, hooray! for finished projects and a clean slate in 2010.